Meet the Team

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    Dr. Joe Leppanen
    Owner & Veterinarian

    Dr. Joseph Leppanen spent the first 10 years of his life growing up in San Jose, California, and his family would often take trips to the countryside to stay on a friend’s sheep ranch. It wasn’t hard for him to develop a love and appreciation for animals early on in life. As he got a bit older, Dr. Leppanen started to develop intense passions for science and medicine. By the time he had signed up to do volunteer work at a few local animal hospitals, his mind was made up—veterinary medicine was the only choice for him!

    Dr. Leppanen started his educational journey at Michigan Technological University as a pre-med student before transferring to Michigan State University to begin his prerequisites for veterinary school. During his time there, he volunteered at three separate animal hospitals while also working as an orderly at the school’s Olin Health Center and the veterinary teaching hospital. Dr. Leppanen graduated with a high-honors degree in medical technology and microbiology, and also obtained an additional bachelor’s degree in zoology.

    During his final year of undergraduate studies, Dr. Leppanen was accepted into Michigan State’s School of Veterinary Medicine, where he earned his doctorate in 1985. He then moved to Florida and practiced there for a brief time before returning to Michigan to be with his wife. He took a job at an animal hospital in DeWitt, where he would remain for the next seven years. In 1992, the facility that is now Pennsylvania Veterinary Care was put up for sale—Dr. Leppanen jumped at his chance, and took full ownership that spring. He’s been serving the pets and animal owners of the area ever since!

    Dr. Leppanen has returned to his alma mater since graduation in order to expand his own skillset and knowledge; he’s completed courses in orthopedics and has studied in seminars and laboratory workshops in order to better serve his patients. In addition, Dr. Leppanen has done work for the Mid-Michigan Cat Rescue, served as the county veterinarian for Ingham County Animal Control, and given his time to the Capital Area Humane Society.

    Outside of work, Dr. Leppanen spends most of his free time with his family—he has four boys and a girl. Together, they enjoy camping, fishing, and boating on Michigan’s beautiful lakes. Dr. Leppanen’s children are also active in sports, and he can often be found attending a local lacrosse, football, basketball, or volleyball game.

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    Dr. Samantha Kaplan-Cooley

    Dr. Samantha Kaplan-Cooley was raised in Saline, Michigan and- like most in the veterinary field- loved animals from a very young age, starting with the family’s black Lab, Bruno. Further exposure to animals came from Dr. KC’s father, who used to bring home kittens hidden in his baseball bag. Although her mother didn’t always fully approve of her passion for less conventional pets, she agreed to let Dr. KC babysit the 7th grade science room’s class pets throughout middle school (a bearded dragon, leopard gecko, and millipedes) during summer and winter vacations.

    Dr. KC moved to the capital area in 2010 to attend Michigan State University- graduating from the Honor’s College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies and agriscience with a concentration in science and policy- and she never left. Dr. KC first joined Penn Vet Care in 2015 as a part-time kennel assistant and worked her way up to being a full-time veterinary assistant before starting vet school at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. She is extremely excited to have officially re-joined the Penn Vet team full-time as an associate veterinarian after officially graduating as a DVM in 2022.

    Dr. KC loves using Fear-Free techniques to give pets the most positive veterinary experience possible. She also has a special interest in working with exotic and wildlife species, especially reptiles and amphibians.

    In her free time, Dr. KC enjoys taking long walks around Lansing and exploring northern Michigan with her husband, Robert, and senior dog, Delilah. She also likes spending time at home with her cats and various reptiles, including leopard geckos and a three toed box turtle.

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    Dr. Amanda Hitchcock

    I am excited and honored to join the amazing team at Pennsylvania Veterinary Care and can’t wait to get to know the people and pets they serve!

    My name is Dr. Amanda Hitchcock.  I graduated with a doctorate from Ross School of Veterinary Medicine in 2022 after doing a clinical year at Michigan State University.  I also have bachelor's degrees in Biology and Nursing from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  I love veterinary medicine and can’t imagine doing anything else.  Medicine is constantly evolving and I love having a job where I get to meet new people, new pets, and learn new things every day.  I have a special interest in endocrinology, internal medicine, and palliative care.

    Before moving to Michigan and becoming a veterinarian I traveled quite a bit.  I grew up in Alaska and Ohio and have also lived in South Carolina, Virginia, New York, and Wisconsin.  I have tried my hand at several occupations including human and veterinary nursing, safari guide, and working on an 1880s farm, but I always knew that eventually I wanted to go to veterinary school.

    I have 2 huskies, a great pyrenees, and a jack-russell/dachshund mix as well as 3 cats and 4 chickens.  In my free time I like hiking with my husband and the dogs, experimenting with new craft projects like sewing and decoupage, cooking and trying new foods, and reading books with my cats.  I also enjoy giving back by volunteering with organizations who help to give veterinary care to people and animals in need.

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    Dr. Ann Marie Rizzo

    Dr. Rizzo is one of our amazing veterinarians here at Penn Vet. A 1999 graduate of Michigan State University, she has a passion for holistic medicine including chiropractic and acupuncture. She shares her life with her husband, 3 children, pet pig Diesel, and an assortment of other animals on her farm outside of Lansing,

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     Kayla Cecil is from Novi, Michigan and a long time animal lover. She grew up with birds and reptiles so exotics hold a special place in her heart. Kayla moved to East Lansing to attend Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology. She has worked in both general practice and speciality medicine, but her favorite is small animal surgery which she does most days at Pennsylvania Veterinary Care. Kayla is Fear-Free certified and loves to give all pets the most comfortable veterinary experience possible. Client education is also extremely important to her and she strives to make sure all pet owners understand what is going on and what to expect with their pet every step of the way. In her free time, Kayla loves spending time with her husband, Oldham, their English Bulldog, Winifred, their cat, Goosey, and their Bearded Dragon, Periwinkle. 

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    Practice Manager

    Kathleen is from Ovid, Michigan and originally studied cosmetology. She realized her passion for veterinary medicine 10 years ago. Kathleen joined Pennsylvania Veterinary Care in 2020 and is now our practice manager!

    Kathleen is Fear-Free certified and loves to give all pets as many treats as physically possible. She strives to create a healthy work environment for our team. She is always encouraging Pennsylvania Veterinary Care staff to take learning opportunities, advance their skills, and find their perfect work-life balance. In her free time, Kathleen loves spending time with her husband, Kaleb, their child, their dogs, Bo and Arrow, and their cats, Panda and Spooooooky Kitty. 

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    Assistant Manager

    Madi is from Dearborn, Michigan and is currently applying to vet school. Madi moved to East Lansing to attend Michigan State University graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. She has worked in the veterinary field for 5 years, and her favorite area of interest is animal behavior and fostering a pleasant environment for pets. Madi is Fear-Free certified and loves to host 'Happy Visits' for fearful pets. She loves forming a relationship with our patients and strives to help pets and their owners love their time at Pennsylvania Veterinary Care.In her free time, Madi loves spending time with her partner (Seth), their 75 pound lap dog (Zin), their cat (Porter), and their snails. 

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    Veterinary Assistant

    Bio coming soon.

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    Veterinary Assistant

    Breanna is originally from Nebraska and has had a passion for all animals and their care since she was young. She moved to Michigan after graduating from the University of Nebraska with her bachelors in Business Administration and Environmental Science. After graduating with her degree, she realized her true passion was in veterinary medicine and animal healthcare. She is now  pursuing a degree in Veterinary Technology and plans to become a Licensed Veterinary Nurse.
    Bre has a special interest in feline care, wanting every feline to have as positive and safe experience while in her care as possible. She also aims to provide thorough education and compassionate care to every pet owner through every happy and difficult situation. In her time outside work, she enjoys gardening, reading, home improvement projects, playing video games, and spending time with her partner and mini-zoo of furry family members.

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    Veterinary Assistant

    Angela is from Holt, Michigan who is a veterinary assistant here at Penn vet with 4 years of veterinary experience. She loves caring for sick pets, seeing cute puppy faces, and ensuring your pet has a positive, fear free visit here at the clinic. She also enjoys spending time in surgery observing different procedures. 

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    Client Communication Specialist

    Shondi grew up right here in the Lansing area and felt a natural inclination toward pets from the time she was a little girl. She has always considered it her responsibility to nurture the animals who offer so much to their loving owners.  She feels it is of great importance to foster the bond between pets and their people.

    Shondi joined the Pennsylvania Veterinary Care family in the fall of 2010 after a career in the Veterinary field since 2002.  She has happily been serving Lansing’s animal companions and pet owners here ever since.  Shondi is our Communications Specialist and many of you may speak to her after your visit with us.  She works hard to make sure that you have the utmost client and patient satisfaction. She is available to assist you in your follow up care, to help you to make informed decisions and care options resulting in an overall happy and healthy outcome!

    At home, Shondi lives with her husband of over 20 years, her 5 Pomeranians (Spangle, Aura, Diddie, Fiddle and Rocket) and her kitty Mal.  In her spare time, she can be found traveling the Lake Michigan coast with her husband, baking sourdough bread for her Micro-bakery, and tending to her beloved urban vegetable garden.      

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    Theresa was born and raised right here in Lansing, where she always harbored a deep affection for animals. She never suspected that she would one day work in the veterinary field, but when her previous career started to leave her feeling unfulfilled, she knew it was time for a change. Theresa decided that a job in animal care was the perfect fit! She’s been a part of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Care family for over a decade.

    Theresa first joined the Pennsylvania Veterinary Care team in May of 2005 and has worked in various areas of the clinic during her tenure here. Currently, she serves as a front-desk receptionist, where she loves greeting pet owners and their beloved animal companions as soon as they walk into the hospital. Theresa’s favorite part of her job is the element of surprise—she just never knows what each new day might bring!

    Theresa and her husband of over 30 years, Tony, have three grown children and three wonderful grandchildren. They share their home with two Chihuahuas—Kevin and Dalton—as well as four cats.

    When she isn’t caring for pets here at the clinic, spending time with her own animal companions at home, or doting on her grandchildren, Theresa is a seamstress and a small-business owner. She runs her own online Etsy shop and sells her work to customers all over the country!

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    Bio coming soon.

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    Bio coming soon.

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    Swing has been at Pennsylvania Veterinary Care for the past 2 years. He prides himself on providing the clinic with emotional and physical security 24/7. Although he can be found frequently at his post in our front window, his favorite place to spend his lunch break is on a keyboard (preferably one in use). If you see him at the clinic, you may be confronted with his strong 'MAH!'. This is just a more professional way of saying Meow. 

    Swing cannot wait to see you when you visit the clinic, but just remember: He'll keep his eye on you....

Pennsylvania Veterinary Care


5438 S Pennsylvania Ave,
Lansing, MI 48911